Traveling Tips for the Holidays

Traveling during the holidays sucks, but I’m here to help make it suck a little less. Thanksgiving and Christmas are creeping up on us quickly, and while most are saving money for gifts for loved ones, some are also saving up for plane tickets. I’ve been traveling alone during the holiday seasons for almost 3 years now, and during this time, I have developed some tips and tricks I’m willing to share. Here’s to making it to your gate on time while avoiding screaming babies!

1. Don’t wear boots

Traveling in style is something all of us want to do, but I’ve seen people make this mistake, and it never ends well. First rule, don’t wear boots. Whether it’s knee-high or thigh-high, don’t wear them. The zipper always takes a couple of seconds more to do, and holding up the line at TSA is a huge no. Go with ankle boots or running shoes – something easy to slip on and off so you get through faster, and you’re not holding up the line.

2. The 2-hour rule

Always get to the airport two hours before you board. Shit gets crazy at the airport during the holidays. You want to be calm and not rushed because I promise, screaming babies and angry people will be a thing everywhere you turn. The TSA line is also obscene during the holidays, with a wait time of possibly up to an hour or more. So with a two hour window, that gives you plenty of time, and you keep your sanity!

3. Pockets

While traveling, being comfy is key, so of course leggings are a must. I know you’re thinking that gives you no pockets for headphones, an ID and a boarding pass. Well, my suggestion is to wear a light jacket or hoodie so that all of your must-have items are accessible. If you really can’t rock anything with pockets, then go with a small purse – not something too big that will bump into people or be a hassle to carry, just something big enough for all of your airport essentials.

4. Gate first

Usually when people get to the airport, they have to go to the bathroom, or they need their Starbucks. I feel that, but before anything, you need to find your gate. Once you know where your gate is, you can go to the bathroom, and then get food. That way, once you have everything, you can go straight to your gate, and you don’t have to move until it’s time to board.

5. Cords

You know those charging stations that always have that person who’s charging at least 4 things at once? First off, don’t be that guy. To avoid the dreaded, always-occupied charging station, just bring your own. Bring a portable charger so if anything is dying, you can charge it right where you’re sitting. Also, to avoid untangling a bunch of cords, only pick one or two. Side note: Bluetooth headphones are always the easiest. 

6. Pack light

When you’re traveling alone, there’s no dad or boyfriend there to carry your things, so you’re on your own. Packing light is crucial because you have to lug everything around. You have to carry it to the bathroom, because you should never ask a stranger to watch your stuff. If you go, your stuff follows. My suggestion would be a backpack for sure, with a duffle bag and/or a carry-on sized suitcase. The backpack stuff is easily accessible, and the duffle or carry-on sized suitcase are very easy to carry around.

7. Always check yourself

Unlike you, some people get to the airport with no time at all to do anything. A tip here is if you see someone running, move out of their way. Just like you want to make your flight, someone else feels that way too. If you’re just strolling around before your flight, just walk on the sides so people rushing can go straight down the middle. It’s not on us if they miss their flight, but it’s easier not to be in the way than get bumped into.

8. Potty breaks

One of the worst things ever is when you get all comfy and situated at your gate, and then it happens…you have to pee. This is why the first and last thing you do at the airport should be to go to the bathroom. You should go right after you find your gate, so you can get food or chill at your gate without any worries. Then go 5-10 minutes before your boarding time so when you’re done, you can get straight into your group line and be ready for boarding.

9. Stay chill

If you are traveling very close to the holidays, there’s an extremely high chance there will be an obscene amount of people there. They will be too close to you and irritated and all things not cool, so the best thing for you to do is to stay chill. As nice as the holiday season is, traveling during it isn’t the best. You just have to use these tips, and just remember no matter what: just stay chill.

Safe travels!